What is the need for AIA? What does it really offer?
Integrating disparate systems seamlessly and that too in cost effective manner has always been a challenge for organization. Not having a clear visibility between into IT systems has been a deterrent for smooth business functioning and vice versa. SOA emerged to address most integration challenges and succeeded in delivering value to business by providing increased business agility, speeded time to market, and reduced cost by utilizing even legacy systems and offered competitive advantages to organizations.
Implementing SOA has always been challenge due to lack of strict framework, visible governance and a competent platform for business driven enterprise integration. These challenges were met by Oracle AIA, which helped process driven integration by offering proven methodologies and canonical components as well offering pre built solutions.
If we plan to build a car in no time or JIT way, then having pre-built components, engineered and tested to the specifications of what a car needs, is a much faster and better way, than to do-it-yourself with basic raw materials.
AIA offers integration capabilities in two flavors i.e. AIA Foundation Pack, which provides these pre-built components, that are engineered to the demands of EAI-based SOA integration. It provides the pre-built components such as the Enterprise Business Objects (EBO), the AIA reference architecture and programming model, governance tools (e.g. service repository, integration scenarios) and framework utilities (e.g. error handling, message level testing).
While the second flavor in form of PIPs helps your integration journey take off immediately.
So in the case of EAI-based SOA integration, the answer is absolutely a big yes, we do need AIA!
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